brand strategy to cultivate desire

This year, the climax of the Paris fashion week has been reached on the sidewalk of rue Barbette, in the 3e district of Paris. Fashion editors, Emmanuelle Alt (Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Paris) at the head, stomped alongside celebrities Chloe Sevigny, among others, amidst a thick fauna of fans – some queuing since the day before – all wearing a pair of rare sneakers. There was no hurry to attend a parade presenting the new collection born from the imagination of a genius but, more prosaically, for the inauguration of a simple store of a hundred square meters, with T-shirts and caps on shelves. But as it is Supreme, the most desired brand of the moment, which opens its very first Parisian stall, is the event. For despite its worldwide renown, the brand, created more than twenty years ago in New York, has opened just ten points of sale in the world. Cultivating scarcity to increase consumer desire … If this recipe is part of Supreme's DNA, it brings in its wake the entire fashion industry, which for some time has multiplied microcosmic collections and limited series. Matthew Henson, fashion editor of the American alternative magazine Complex summarize this very simple equation:

Faced with the profusion of brands and products, and a growing demand, the new business model is to provide a minimum supply with collections of very small quantities to make the brand and its models particularly desirable.

The technique is well known luxury brands. For a long time, Hermès customers had to register on a waiting list to buy a Birkin bag. But the process was justified by the delay of making this object of exception. Today, brands are deliberately choosing to produce a small amount of products manufactured … in series. The goal ? Put the customer in front of a tough choice: "Buy now and dear … or wait and take the risk to let your luck pass and end up paying a lot more money later", decrypted Jian Deleon WGSN trends cabinet. From H & M to Adidas, no more sign escapes the use of the mention sold out. Here are the ten rules that govern this new marketing culture. Where does the good old saying go?What is rare is expensive" took power.

1. Follow the Supreme Guide

"Supreme is the most desired brand in the world. Point"Released at the end of 2015, Sold out: The underground economy of Supreme Resellers, documentary initiated by the site Complex, set the tone.

On closer inspection, the idea holds true: in twenty-two years of existence, the American brand originally intended for skaters and whose fame has grown steadily never really revised its distribution upward. From the beginning, the brand defies the laws of marketing, communicating whenever it wants (often out of season), associating with the most diverse names of pop culture (from Kate Moss to … Kermit the frog), playing the game of the collab 'but only with artists like Damien Hirst, Richard Prince or Jeff Koons … And, above all, by limiting his stocks to the bare minimum. Self-sabotage? No, genius. In the face of a growing demand, Supreme stagnates the offer, raising, at once, each creation of the mutique James Jebbia to the rand of religious objects. Every Thursday, the meager replenishment of just a few pieces of the Parisian boutique gives rise to surreal scenes where 14-year-old teens, upbeat tourists and professional dealers can wait up to two days to buy a T-shirt, for lack of access to another channel.

It is the only current brand to have completely undone the pressure related to its customers. The sellers are not, the shops are often closed, the e-shop constantly robbed

wrote, in 2013, David Shapiro (In the month of July, the journalist will publish supremacist, a novel centered on the life of a fan trying to visit the 10 existing shops) in the New Yorker, the American intellectual bible. Since the creation of the brand in 1994, with a first store in New York on Lafayette Street, all Supreme products sold worldwide are by definition stamped "sold out", annihilating at the same time the concept of balances.The case study.

2. Make the shop again desirable

An extract from the Uniqlo x Christophe Lemaire campaign

Ten or twenty years ago, a brand was a shop, a seller and a stock. But in the era of the web, e-shops, always more efficient, undermine gradually the sacrosanct hegemony of "passage in shop". Even the luxury industry, so far spared, has to contend with ever more powerful digital models. Online shopping sites such as net-a-porter thus initiated in 2014 a courier delivery system capable of delivering in less than four hours. It is also possible to order several products and to pay only those that will not be returned to the platform. In these conditions, the capsule collection in limited edition and exclusively sold in stores is a good way to attract new customers to its aisles … At Uniqlo, the long awaited collection resulting from the collaboration with the creator Christophe Lemaire has made the visits from his Parisian flagship 24% the week of his release.

3. All bet on visibility …

… and distribute only once the pressure at its height. Unlike haute couture, which, if it sells very little, also communicates very little, the culture of sold out is based on a clear gap between the means used to communicate and the quantities actually available. The last big shot in date? The collaboration of Swedish giant H & M and luxury brand Balmain, sold out in just a few hours after months of bludgeoning surgery including the Olivier-Rousteing-Gigi-Hadid-Kendall-Jenner combo. As a result, scenes of collective hysteria where clients tore the wearers' clothes without even looking at them – and a video that became a viral phenomenon.

An excerpt from the Balmain x H & M campaign

Some actors in the field go even further by knowingly continuing to communicate on products out of stock, so as not to drop the desire: "We voluntarily leave online the items already sold because they are the ones who push for the purchase, Explain Sébastien Fabre, CEO of Vestiaire Collective, the luxury second-hand e-shop. 60% of products already purchased on our site are 'tracked' by our customers, who are notified by email or SMS as soon as a similar article is available. If this is the case, this alert triggers a sale in 70% of cases."The effectiveness of the sold out is therefore formidable.

4. Pampering the influencer

"Giving exclusive goodies so that talent and influencers can generate premium content on their platforms."A Digital Marketing Course? No, one of the latest Instagram posts from Teki Latex. With a clear second degree, the DJ and French producer comments on his snapshot of the last gift received from the Nike equipment manufacturer.

Because for brands, these "endowments", to use the term "dedicated", are a good way to communicate with a very specific target. Limited editions whose purpose is not so much to increase the sales of the product in question as to enhance the image of the brand. A win-win system because brands gain "coolness" by appearing on the backs of young people connected, and they confirm their status as influencers to their audience.

5. Dare to produce against the current

The advantage of small quantity production is that it allows you to take risks at a lower cost, even if you have to offer amazing products. This is the case of Yeezy Boost of Adidas, this ovoid basketball dreamed up by Kanye West who, in 2014, takes on even the afficionados of the German brand.

Adidas Yeezy Boost

With an oversized serpentine outsole, jute effect material and a futuristic design, the shoe, which abandons the 90's aesthetic of the time, triggers buyers' hysteria and becomes unavailable everywhere just hours after its release – Kanye him even send four pairs to the Obama family. Reinforced by the inaccessibility of the product, little published, and its price, much more expensive than a classic basketball, this collaboration allows Adidas to remain as the first challenger of Nike.

6. Make a preview as in the movies

A countdown on a website, a cocktail, a star concert (on the return) or a shopping party. For the miniature collections, the brands often rely on a launch on the model of the Hollywood premiere, ranging from the most chic, the launch of the Apple Watch Hermes with Anna Wintour having abandoned for the occasion its black glasses , at most hysterical, the celebration Topshop x Kate Moss on Oxford Street in London where we saw fans crying in front of a store window in which appeared the supermodel. Identical scenes were repeated in a huge studio in New York for the presentation of the ten pieces of the collab 'between Nike, the Brazilian designer Pedro Lourenço and the model Karlie Kloss. Not to mention the 15,000 people who filled Madison Square Garden this winter for the presentation of the third collection of Kanye West designer, whatever its quality …

7. Occupy the media field

What is the news?

"That's the question my fashion editors ask me a hundred times a day, because to make a brand stand out, you need a good reason, and a collection produced in small quantities will always have a lot more media impact than available products. throughout the season", Explain Anna Locatelli, vice-president and associate of the Angelo Sensini press office in Paris. It is true that the multiplication of collab 'and their short duration is a blessing for websites, including ours, which follows the lifestyle news.

This winter, the brand Seafarer associated with Drome time capsule collection (and therefore, very limited series)

8. Follow the CAC 40 Resale Sites

The more a brand arouses desire and maintains an imbalanced relationship between its supply and demand, the more its resale price climbs, it is mathematical. A grail for dealers selling "sold out" coins, which are trading at a high price. Online on Thursday, March 17 at 10 am, the 23 pieces of collaboration between brands Supreme and Stone Island were no longer available at noon than eBay, for four times the original price.

An extract from the Supreme x Stone Island Collection

9. Find the right partner of collab '

Each collaboration between two brands does not only allow to put on sale a new and rare product, it allows especially the two actors to fill a lack. For example, in 2015, the aging high-end solar brand Vuarnet teamed up with Ami, Alexandre Mattiussi's men's ready-to-wear label, to produce a striped pair in a very small series.

The Vuarnet + Friend campaign

The latter provided the company specializing in mineral glasses with the sharp bond it needed, allowing it to reach a new consumer segment, and Ami was paying for itself at a low cost for cutting-edge technology. 100% hand made. Neither seen nor known, the mount will parade at Paris Fashion Week … before being out of stock.

10. Find your particular buyer

At age 43, Robert Samuel has set up Same Ole Line Dudes, a company that queues … for his clients. Paid on time ($ 25 for the first hour and $ 10 for each half hour later), one of his employees will be able to settle three days in advance in front of the Nike store in New York to bring you the last pair of Air Jordan in limited series. Being the first in the country of the sold out definitely costs more and more expensive …

Laurianne Melierre

Laurianne Melierre